By: Kathleen Hall
The themes that rule our lives today are, “I’m exhausted,” and “I don’t have enough time.” We are overbooked, overworked and overwhelmed. Just getting done what must be done fills our days. The notion of finding a precious hour or two to soothe our aching souls seems monumental. The image that comes to mind is each of us is on our bicycles pedaling faster and faster each day to get somewhere quickly. Eventually we notice that we are at the same place where we started. We are exhausted and have spent our precious energy, time and resources and we are not going anywhere. Looking down we notice the chain has slipped on our bicycles. We have lived so distracted and focused on what is in front of us, the future, the plans for our lives, we really aren’t aware that the chain had slipped in our lives.
Many of us take time management classes, productivity seminars or listen to the most recent fashionable, inspirational-motivational gurus in a fruitless attempt to discover some rhythm and meaning in our lives. We desperately chase after emerging technology to connect us to more people in hope of filling the growing, gaping hole in our souls and our lives.
We have forgotten the experience of being one with the sacred rhythm of life. Trying to remember the profound experience of being lulled by the rhythm of nature, the sun, the moon, the tides of the ocean and the seasons. The earth, physics, nature, biology, the ocean, day and night, all ebb and flow in the rhythm of life. We are living at an unnatural pace, racing past our lives. We love our technology but we were not created for our lives to shadow it’s speed. How do we transform our enormously hurried, frenetic lives into lives of rhythm, meaning and happiness? Where do we start and how do we begin? I believe the answer is beginning with Mindful Living.
- Begin by challenging yourself to an experiment. Live one day, today, mindfully. Live today with the realization that every thought, word and action you do, every single thing you say, think and do, affects you and echoes out into the world affecting everything living.
- Go slow today. When you walk feel your feet and toes supporting you and transporting you to new places. Notice the sky, the wind, the sun and the temperature outside. When you eat today take a grateful look at your food before you slowly eat each bite. Thank the farmer and everyone who brought that delicious food to your plate.
- As you begin to curse or say something unkind to someone in your car, on the phone or at work stop and take a deep breath. Most of our cursing and unmindful responses are just a habits. The more aware you become the more you will want to make choices in your behavior or responses.
- Every hour stop and say three things you are thankful for.
These are just a few suggestions to begin your mindful experimental day. If this day is a step that brings you peace, kindness and reflection in your life I hope you choose to practice mindful living for yourself and others. Be a guide into the joy of mindful living as a living example for others in your relationships at home, work and in our world.
Dr. Kathleen Hall, internationally recognized lifestyle expert in stress, work-life balance and mindful living, is Founder and CEO of the Stress Institute and The Mindful Living Network. Author of 3 books; Uncommon HOPE, A Life in Balance and Alter Your Life, media including: The Today Show, Dr. OZ, Oprah and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, USA Today, CNN, FOX, and Forbes. When she is not at work, she commits her time saving animals’ lives through Habersham Humane Society. For more information about how to get in touch with Dr. Hall, visit: www.stressinstitute.com.